Carmel entrepreneur explains power of apprenticeships
By Mark Ambrogi
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order to expand apprenticeships and vocational training in America in June, he emphasized it will help students “earn while they learn.”
Ron Brumbarger, who owns Carmel’s Bitwise Solutions, embraces the concept as founder and president of Apprentice University.
“I would most definitely support at least the attention that there are more ways to launch one’s career than just by going to college,” Brumbarger said. “I would fully support that. At least we are talking about alternatives and options to everyone running off to college and getting a four-year degree. I applaud the idea that not all successful careers begin and end in college. We believe learning through apprenticeships is a natural way to learn. We brought it back five years ago when we first started.”
The purpose of Apprentice University is to develop young professionals for high-paying, high-demand careers in technology, business, entrepreneurship and social media.
However, Brumbarger isn’t fond of the idea of government being involved with the program.
“I appreciate the intent to juice the model by encouraging the Dept. of Labor and others to promote apprenticeships. I’m not sure I want necessarily the Dept. of Labor as my partner,” said Brumbarger, laughing. “I would rather the government be my friend and not my partner in that regard. Having said that, I know that the executive order is largely tailored to skilled trades and those types of the jobs.”
Brumbarger said the jobs the order will help are more geared to mechanics, heating and air conditioning specialists, electricians and manufacturing.
“Some of the jobs we’re focused on don’t have job descriptions yet because they are that fresh in developing on the horizon,” Brumbarger said. “We don’t do anything in skilled trades. We’re doing really well with our focus, and that would be a distraction for us.”
Brumbarger Apprentice University prepares students for jobs in project management, sales, web design, programming , digital storytelling and more. A student’s term at Apprentice University typically lasts between 2 and 2 1/2 years. Students range in age from 18 to 25, Brumbarger said.